Thursday, November 12, 2009

Double dose of Red Sox on Baseball Prospectus

We get two articles about the Red Sox today from Baseball Prospectus. Kevin Goldstein's top 11 prospects and an interview with Ryan Kalish.

Here is his list of the top 11 players in the Red Sox system, although I won't include his full write ups for the players:
Five-Star Prospects
1. Ryan Westmoreland, CF
2. Casey Kelly RHP/SS
Four-Star Prospects
3. Josh Reddick, OF
4. Ryan Kalish, OF
Three-Star Prospects
5. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
6. Jose Iglesias, SS
7. Junichi Tazawa, RHP
8. Michael Bowden, RHP
9. Lars Anderson, 1B
10. Reymond Fuentes, CF
11. Derrik Gibson, 2B/SS

A couple things jump out at me. First, the Red Sox have three players in their top 11 who can play center field and Reddick is a solid defender in right field. Also, Rizzo and Iglesias are superb fielders. There are no guarantees that all of these players will make it to the majors, especially not as center fielders, but the Red Sox are a team that is on the older and unathletic side of thing. That could change within a couple years. Of the 11, most are in the lower levels. Only Reddick, Tazawa, and Bowden are likely to be seen in Boston in 2010, and all have already appeared in the big leagues, albeit with limited success. Finally, Lars Anderson was dropped from first overall in 2008 to ninth in 2009, below fellow first base prospect Anthony Rizzo. According to Goldstein, even the optimistic scouts are no longer predicting stardom for Anderson. 2010 could be a make or break season for him, as a couple down years can quickly turn a prospect who was young for his league into someone who likely should have moved on already.

More Westmoreland and Kelly, who is likely to be switched full time to pitching this year, are a long way off, starting in low A and high A this season, respectively. Kelly is a very polished 20 year old starter with three plus pitches. He is also a shortstop and in order to be signed the Red Sox had to give him guarantees that he'd at least get a shot to make it as an everyday player. Kelly his just over .210 last season split between low A and high A, but dominated both leagues as a pitcher. Because of his advanced approach he could move through the system quickly. Kelly is playing shortstop in the Arizona Fall League and is hitting .240. A good showing in A+ and AA in 2010 would make a spot start in Boston not out of the question next year.

Westmoreland is a 19 year old centerfielder from Rhode Island. Coming into the draft he was considered nearly unsignable, as he had a full scholarship to Vanderbilt. The Red Sox drafted him in the 5th round and signed him with a $2 million bonus. Despite the large bonus, the general consensus was that his affinity for the Red Sox was important and no other team would have been able to sign him. He posted impressive numbers as a 19 year old in the New York Penn League (low A) and scouts rave about his tools. Goldstein compares him favorably to Grady Sizemore, in terms of upside. The one quesiton mark about Westmoreland is his durability. After the draft he needed minor surgery on his shoulder and his 2009 season was shortened by a broken collarbone after running into a wall.


  1. The farm system is really exciting in terms of its up the middle prospects. It's amazing to have Ellsbury already playing center, and have Westmoreland, Kalish, and Reddick also be possibilities there. The other really cool thing about the Sox system is that while they might not have a ton of top notch prospects, they have a lot of potential major leaguers, which makes the "State of the system" project much more interesting.

  2. Reddick isn't a right fielder, but with Westmoreland, Kalish, and Fuentes the outfield defense could be unbelievable in 2011 or 2012.

    I would call Westmoreland and Kelly top notch prospects. Goldstein had about 15 or 20 5 star prospects in the AL last year, maybe fewer, so he's really high on both players.

  3. Can't Reddick play RF? I thought he was good enough to do so, and has a great arm.

  4. Sorry - a typo totally changes the meaning of that comment. Reddick isn't a center fielder, although he is a solid defender in right.

  5. OK, what I thought was that Reddick is a good emergency back up CF, so that makes more sense.